Lindelof Believed Bird Would Bail on ‘Tomorrowland’ for ‘Star Wars;’ Is Bird Interested in the ‘Anthology’ Films?
Posted on Thursday, May 21st, 2015 by Germain Lussier
By now you’ve heard it a million times. After J.J. Abrams passed on the film a first time, Brad Bird was given the opportunity to direct Star Wars Episode VII. Bird, however, had to choose between Star Wars and Tomorrowland, a film he was also passionate about which was already in pre-production, and had a star attached. Obviously, Bird chose Tomorrowland, Abrams reconsidered and both are very happy with those decisions. However, fellow Star Wars fan and Tomorrowland co-writer Damon Lindelof recently said he was sure Bird was going to leave their project. In fact, he told Bird to do so and Bird happily surprised him.
Below, read what Lindelof thought about Bird’s choice, if Lindelof would do a Star Wars movie, and Bird’s quote when he’s reminded there’s an opening for a Star Wars Anthology film.
Lindelof and Bird were speaking with IGN when the Lost writer told his version of the Bird story:
“Yeah, I thought you were gonzo,” Lindelof said to Bird. “They’d just offered Brad Star Wars and we were about six weeks out [from production on Tomorrowland] and were scouting in Florida, and I looked down at my phone and it was your smiley face and I was like, ‘He’s about to bounce.’ And you didn’t.”
Here’s some more Lindelof on Bird:
It was his choice and his choice to make alone. But when I called him up I said to him, ‘Look, if it were me, I would go and do Star Wars! I mean, like, I don’t know how you say no to that.’ Now, what Brad didn’t understand is that this is an old Jewish trick. It’s like a, ‘Look, you go with God.’ I mean, it was what I was genuinely feeling and I brought myself to the point where the movie [Tomorrowland] was going to collapse. When he said that he was staying it was just this amazing experience and the movie only exists right now because of it. Obviously J.J. [Abrams] has directed Episode VII and everything that I’m seeing and hearing about it is fantastic, but I’m really glad that Brad stayed.
So why did Bird stay? Well, outside of the logistical quandary, he got really excited about the opportunity to make his own Star Wars, in a way. Something original, new and wondrous. That’s how he viewed Tomorrowland. An opportunity like that doesn’t come around too often.
However, now that Bird is done with Tomorrowland, Yahoo mentioned to him that there’s a Star Wars directorial opening with Josh Trank’s exit:
Right now I’m writing Incredibles 2, so I’ve got my hands full.
Which is a nice way of saying he’s got his next project. But if there’s a Star Wars movie coming out every year for the foreseeable future, maybe he’ll do one down the road.
As for Lindelof, he told ScreenCrush he’d never say never about working on Star Wars, but doesn’t see it happening any time soon, if ever:
I can tell you that I’ve had NO conversations with anyone, on a formal or informal level, about working on any Star Wars project. That said, I think that my sense of where we’re going to be five years from now is that the Star Wars universe is just as fertile as the Marvel universe. That’s certainly what Disney’s plan is. I would certainly never say never, but right now, whether Tomorrowland succeeds or fails, I’m committed to a space of trying to make something more original. That doesn’t come with the intense focus of “Jesus, Lindelof, don’t fuck this up too.” If it’s an original piece, I fucked up my own thing, which I’ve also been accused of, mind you. But, it would be immensely distracting to the fans, for my name to be involved in the franchise at this stage.
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